Oct 17, 201209:22 AMHome & Garden
Bob Carey, D.B. Frank and All Things Home
Preservation Before the Frost
This past weekend, first frost of the season was forecast for the overnight hours. Some of our crops were still producing, so I grabbed a basket and headed out to the garden.
I picked the last of the green and wax peppers and brought them in. The beets could wait since the cold doesn't affect them too badly.
On the way back to the house though, I noticed that the rosemary and parsley were still going full force. After depositing the peppers inside, I grabbed a pair of scissors and went to the herbs that were growing out front. I made a few deft snips and filled the basket with freshness.
Once back inside, I rinsed them under cold water and patted them dry. I pulled out the Nesco food dehydrator and after setting it on the counter, I trimmed the cut the rosemary to a length that would fit into the dehydrator and placed it on the trays. I kept them fairly uniform, allowing space between them.
When one basket was full, I put another on top and continued.
When finsihed with the rosemary, I moved on to the parsley. I trimmed the leaves from the stems and put the finished items on trays, again keeping space between the herbs.
I stacked the trays and put the top on they dehydrator. I set the selector to 95 degrees and we were on our way.
The afternoon brought an enticing aroma from the kitchen as the herbs dried. Allowing them a cure time of 24 hours, I checked them the following day.
The parsley was finished, dry and brittle. I placed the leaves into a pint mason jar for storage in the dark pantry.
Unfortunately, the rosemary still contained moisture. I removed the trays that had held the already dehydrated parsley and put the top back on the machine to allow the rosemary further drying time.
I bumped the setting on the dehydrator up to 105 degrees and alloted it an additional 24 hours to dry. When the rosemary was done, I stripped the herb from the stem and used a jelly jar for storage. This jar will also reside in our pantry.
There you have it; two jars of herbs that will grace our winter fare.